Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes.”
Columnist Diana Vreeland’s remark about the nature of fashion expresses a deep and abiding truth about the industry – it’s an expression of people, of feelings and the time we live in much more than it is about apparel.
And fashion is also a business that is as profoundly complex as it appears elementary. From its lengthy supply chains to its strategic planning efforts; from its ability to blend diverse business models from merchandizing to direct-to-consumer, to its rapid transformation from brick-and-mortar-only to e-commerce to omnichannel, all in an incredibly short timeframe – it is, in summation, an innovation monster: driven by, and at the same time leading, the feeling and mood of our times.
Thus, it is hardly surprising that we should find fashion brands among the first to breach the technological barrier when it comes to evolving economic paradigms. In the last two years we’ve seen Amaro using artificial intelligence to assist designers; Miroglio offering a print-your-own fabric tool on its site; Caastle developing a rent-a-wardrobe strategy that’s been likened to the “Spotify of Fashion” as well as, famously, Under Armor buying a health and fitness app outright to create new synergies and revenue drivers for the future. More than just “being cool and tech-oriented”, what these brands have done is to unite multiple aspects of their business, thinking in ways that were previously unheard of, and then effecting real organizational change to add meaning and value to the functional and experiential aspects of their customers’ journeys. It’s hard to think of any other sector having done that so quickly, effectively and powerfully.
This year, during its now regular Fashion Meets Innovation event in Lugano, Switzerland, the NetComm Suisse Association has created a series of Fashion Innovation awards which are designed to recognize and promote the vision, frameworks and culture that the world’s leading fashion brands have demonstrated while implementing their new business strategies.
NetComm Suisse President, Mr. Carlo Terreni, explained, “What our awards are doing, in effect, is saying that ‘innovation’ is not something that just happens and neither is it the result of one of two particularly bright people in the R&D department thinking of something amazing: it’s the result of a particular culture that spreads, through excellent leadership, to every person in the organization and embodies real, effective change.
“We believe that such ‘innovative thinking’ comes through a mix of understanding the market and wider society, connecting with the right players both internally and externally, being open enough to take on board surprising or different ideas, and then being brave enough to support those ideas through potentially difficult evolutions.”
The NetComm Suisse Fashion Innovation awards span the following areas:
- Digital innovation culture
- Digital product creation
- AI and machine learning
The winners will be announced during the morning session of Fashion Meets Innovation on April 1st 2019, in front of a wide range of business directors, political leaders, brands and digital players at the LAC center in Lugano. To watch, and even better, be part of this revolution, check tickets here.